For those of you new to the site, I’m a big proponent of combining your finances and your fitness. I think the good habits you develop in one area can translate pretty easily good habits into the other. And one of the tools that I use them that directly ties the two together is Gympact. I already wrote a full review of Gympact back in November, but recently they’ve added an additional feature that I recently had the need to test out.
What Is Gympact?
Gympact is a smartphone app that lets you earn financial incentives by sticking to your fitness goals. But it can also cost you money if you fall down on those goals. You pick how many times to work out, and then check in with your Gympact app when you do so. It uses GPS to confirm you’re at the gym, or Runkeeper to know that you’re running and gives you credit for your workout. But until now, exercise that you did at home or at a hotel didn’t count because Gympact couldn’t confirm you weren’t sitting on the couch eating Doritos and watching old seasons of Desperate Housewives. Enter Gympact’s new feature – Gympact Anywhere.
The latest version of Gympact incorporates your phone’s accelerometer (the piece of hardware in your phone that senses motion) and lets you check in for a workout anywhere as long as you then measure 30 minutes of motion using the Gympact Anywhere feature.
How Does It Work?
Since a workout needs to last 30 minutes to count for a Gympact check-in, when you check-in with Gympact Anywhere, you have 90 minutes in which you need to meet a minimum threshold of motion in at least 30 of them. I finally tried this feature when I was in a hotel gym recently and the weather was icky enough that I didn’t want to run outside.
It was easy enough to use as I tried to make sure I was moving for at least 30 minutes. Here’s a screenshot I took midway through the workout. The blue bar represents the minute you’re currently working on, and the dashed line is the minimum movement threshold that you have to hit for the minute to count. Some tips:
- Strapping an armband to your arm and running on a treadmill generates enough motion to get credit for those minutes
- Strapping an armband on your arm or holding your phone in your hand while doing sit-ups or crunches generates enough motion as long as you’re actually coming off the floor a bit in your crunches
- Leg lifts require a quick switch of the armband to attach it to your ankle, but those register more than enough movement
- Bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc. might require you attach the armband on your forearm since your bicep is usually meant to be stationary in those exercises
A Few Drawbacks
- The minimum motion threshold is pretty low. You’re not going to need to do burpees for 45 seconds before you get credit for that minute. Once I realized this, I let myself go a little easy on the workout. It was a much harder workout before I realized I was overshooting the low bar by so much.
- You need an armband that fits, and this can be tough for girls. The “one-size-fits-all” armbands that I use fit my bicep when they’re at their tightest but are hopeless to attach to my forearm. (I’m short, but not insanely small – so this is a pretty common problem for women.) I kindof held the armband in my hand while I did some bicep curls, but it’s not ideal.
- I also couldn’t hear the app’s sounds that let you know each minute has passed (*click*) and that you’ve hit the motion threshold (*ding*) while my headphones were in. I only noticed them after I took my headphones out. So if you can’t hear them, you’ll want to keep checking the screen to make sure your movement is counting.
Impact On Gympact Earnings
Gympact earnings have been down lately, and I think Gympact Anywhere is part of the reason why.
After hitting a recent peak of $0.56 per workout the week between Christmas and New Years, last week was just $0.29 per workout. So it seems that as Gympact gets easier to use (and Gympact Anywhere has definitely made it easier to use!), amount earned per workout decreases. Crud. But on the bright side, this theoretically means that more people are working out and staying healthy. Which is good for society. (Mr. PoP-they’re not working out, they’re strapping their iphone to their wrist as they do 16oz curls)
But, to add to my bottom line in the short term – and since Gympact Anywhere is pretty darned easy to use – I might just add an extra day to my pact (increase it from 5x/week to 6x) to try and recoup some of those lost earnings.
What do you use to keep in shape? Do you use any of the services or apps that tie your fitness and finance habits together?